Pineapple Has Potential, Pay Attention To Crop - Legal Practitioner Entreats Govt

A legal practitioner with expertise in industrial operations, Kobbyna Acquah, has called on the government to pay more attention to the pineapple sub-sector as the cash crop holds the potential to rake in large revenue.

He said if the country were to be self-sufficient in pineapple production it could fetch the country over $300 million per annum through the export of the fruits, particularly in its processed form, to the international market.

“If Ghana can grow this industry like the Asian Tigers developed their automobile industry, it could lead in the emerging fruits and juices industries and a mix with other potentials like coconut water and coconut milk, and earn over $1.5 billion annually”.

“This will also help in creating sustainable jobs of over 800,000 in the value chain,” Mr Acquah said in an interview with the Daily Graphic. He said with the cocoa sector facing challenges with production diminishing at a fast rate, coconut, citrus and the general juice industry was likely to be the next game changer in the resolution of the country’s economic woes.

Import substitution

The country imports an average of $300 million fruits and juices a year. According to the estimation of horticultural producers, 20 per cent of the demand of fruits and juices can be met by local industries.

Therefore, strategic support to the industry would go a long way to support local farmers, boost capacity and competitiveness of local processing stakeholders, reduce trade deficit, and help currency stabilization efforts, Mr Acquah stated in the interview which sought to understand how the local fruit production industry could help to raise foreign exchange for the country.

He added that the support could be the driver for economic transformation for the country if the numerous opportunities within that sector were given the needed credit support.

However, he advised that the sub-sector should be developed together with other horticultural produce such as citrus and passion fruits. “It's becoming clear that Ghana harnessing its natural exotic agricultural resources can create huge transformation for the economy,” Mr Acquah stated.